Drunken Monkey at Trader Vic’s Emeryville

This cocktail appeared on the menu at Trader Vic’s Emeryville a couple years ago and I decided to revisit with lunch. The drink features unaged Cachaça and Tequila, along with Banana liqueur, grapefruit and lime juice, plus Trader Vic’s favorite ingredient – Orgeat. The Whipped Cream topping with Lime Zest makes this an attractive cocktail.

The blend of Cachaça and Tequila works really well here, providing different spirit notes than what you’d get with Rum or Bourbon. Cachaça is distilled from cane juice and the light herbal qualities pair well with Tequila’s agave-based flavor. The banana is there just as a hint, and when we upped the ratio at home it still wasn’t forward in the cocktail.

At Trader Vic’s the cocktail is served in this tall glass with nugget ice, which meant it was difficult to incorporate the topping into the drink due to the chunky ice. My preference would be for this to be in an old fashioned glass with a wider brim or with shaved ice that would be easier to work with.

Trader Vic’s hasn’t published the recipe but observing the prep and trying at home this seems pretty close. Give it a try!

Drunken Monkey by Trader Vic’s
½ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Grapefruit Juice (pink)
½ oz Orgeat
½ oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
1 oz Blanco Tequila
1 oz Silver Cachaça
Shake with crushed ice and top with whipped cream and banana chips.

At home I used El Jimador Tequila and Novo Fogo Cachaça, along with Latitude 29 Orgeat, and I felt this tasted even better than the one at Trader Vic’s. I’m a newbie to both spirits, so I couldn’t tell which brands were used at Vic’s.

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